Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Feast #158

I found this one to be the hardest feasts I've done so far.

Appetizer -Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?

My children. Each one can be or any given one of them at different times. If for any reason they aren't available or I've talked them out... well then Ginger makes a good listener!

Soup -If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

This is hard for me because I really have never had a desire to live in any other time than today. I am not a history buff nor am I really interested in ancient culture. So while I don't consider it an ancient city in the same sense of Rome, nor do I necessarily think it was at the height of quality at the time, I would pick to live in Jerusalem while Jesus was there.

Salad -What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?

The birth of my children. (I guess this was something I experienced instead of witnessed. I'm leaving it as my answer though.)

Main Course -If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?

Well, it wouldn't involve a public restroom! (Larry Craig) ...drinking or drugs! (Paris or Lindsey) underwear or lack thereof! (Brittney) I like to think that I would do something of value, something that would make a real difference in the world or influence others in a positive way.

Dessert -What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?

Between 27 (which is when I had my last child) and 32. I started early and realized later that I could have used a few more years to just have fun and enjoy life before tying myself down to the responsibility of children. While I think I was a good mother, a little more life experience wouldn't have hurt.


posted by Marsha at 12 Comments

Friday, August 24, 2007

My X-Terra and X-treme Lengths To Win A Contest

This is my X-Terra. It is Ginger's favorite place in the world to be with her head sticking out of the open window and her tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth. Ginger loves my X-Terra, I don't. If I were to write a letter to my X-Terra, oh say because I am trying to win a contest or some silly thing like that **Write an open letter to your car. Shower it with virtual hugs and kisses, reminisce about the day you first met, or give it a piece of your mind!,** I would say:

Dear X-Terra,

Thank you for helping me get Ginger corraled in those odd instances when she got loose and would have run all over the neighborhood if she hadn't been enticed into her spot in the back seat. I just wish you would give me more mpg.


The one who paid for you and still pays for your gas guzzling ways (so much for buying a mid-size SUV, I may as well have bought a big one).

All this just for an opportunity to win a Circle Bag! They're fun and made from recycled tire inner tubes. Thanks to The Parent Bloggers Network and Ask Patty


posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Rapture Song

I enjoyed this. I found it funny, thought provoking and sweet. It also hits home right now as I am in the middle of yet another study of Revelation.

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posted by Marsha at 2 Comments

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Digital Scrapbooking

I'm not really a scrapbooker but I do like putting together pages that tell a story or describe a person or capture an emotion or feelings. Below are some of the files I've done and even though a couple of them are not really scrapbook pages they do tell something I wanted to say about the subjects of the photos.

This first one is a blend I did using pictures of my children at young ages for Valentine's Day 2006. I sometimes miss the children they were... I want to hold them and see one more time the wonder in their eyes and to marvel at the innocent trust that only children have in the world.


This one was created as a scrapbook style page of my dad shortly after he died last year. He was known as Paps once his grandchildren came along he will always be remembered as Paps by all of us.


Here is a blend of my granddaughter Emily displaying some of her interests which includes the clarinet, which she plays in the band and the love of her life, her horse Tinman. The photo in this one is around two years old and was taken at before she moved him to a different stable.


This scrapbook style page was created using a photo of my oldest granddaughter Erin from almost four years ago when we went to Indiana for Thanksgiving and actually had a little snowfall while we were there. Snow is not all that common in Louisiana so it was fun for the girls to get out in it even though there was no massive accumulation of snow that day.


The journaling says: I couldn't believe how excited you and your sisters were over a few little snowflakes... living in the deep south makes snowflakes one of nature's miracles, usually closing schools and stopping traffic... but there at Granny's house that day in Indiana, they stopped nothing but the three of you!

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posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Friday Feast #156 -- late again!

Can't believe I've missed so many Friday Feasts. I guess I am not truly committed to posting them but they are easy and I don't have to think about a topic I want to post about when I go by a formula. Lazy blogging? Guilty!

Appetizer -Describe your laundry routine. Do you have a certain day when you do it all, or do you just wash whatever you need for the next day?

With only myself to do laundry for, it is not a problem. I do laundry when I feel like it or if something I want or need to wear is dirty.

Soup -In your opinion, what age will you be when you’ll consider yourself to truly be old?

I occasionally felt old as a child; today at 60, I often feel young. I don't know what old is beyond a feeling.

Salad -What is one of your goals? Is it short-term, long-term, or both?

My son convinced my when I retired that I set too many goals in my life. I no longer set goals and find that I still get things done, have less stress and it only took (nearly) four years to get to this point. Thanks John!

Main Course -Name something unbelievable you’ve seen or read lately.

Two years and four mission trips later, I continue to be amazed by the devastation that resulted from Hurricane Katrina. Not only the physical effects in New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast, but in the attitudes and behavior of people... good and bad.

Dessert -On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how happy are you today?

Happiness seems elusive to me as it is a fleeting emotion, too often dependent on the action of others or effected by things outside of our control. If you ask me about contentment, I will tell you that I am a 9 or 10. Are happiness and contentment the same thing? You tell me.


posted by Marsha at 9 Comments

Friday, August 17, 2007

Best Recitation Of The Twenty Third Psalm Ever!


posted by Marsha at 0 Comments

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I Hate Cancer

I've hit that point in life where I am hearing some sort of bad news about friends on a fairly regular basis, particularly relating to their health. It seems almost daily that someone I know is having hip surgery or a knee replacement, some type of scan or scope for this or that or they've just been diagnosed with diabetes or they've been told they have blocked arteries and need stents... it's always something and sometimes the news is difficult to bear. Earlier today, as I was preparing to shut down my computer and get ready to leave for an appointment, I noticed that our weekly Intercessory Prayer list had just arrived in my inbox. Normally I receive the list on Wednesday, but assumed that our Associate Pastor must have had something going on yesterday that made her late in getting out the list. I was right. She did does have something going on.

I opened the list, wanting to quickly read through it to make sure there were no new concerns that I was unaware of when I noticed that my friend was on the list along with her family and a note indicating she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I shut down the computer, picked up the phone and decided I would cancel the appointment if needed (it wasn't) and stayed on the phone to talk to this wonderful woman who has already faced many concerns in her life. I found her calm, realistic and prepared to face what she will have to go through to fight the monster. She knows she is facing surgery, and will most likely have a 'simple' mastectomy (as if any mastectomy is simple). She won't know for certain until she sees a surgeon and will probably still not know for sure what the full extent of the surgery will be until they actually get in and are able to assess the extent of the disease. Further treatment will be determined based on what they find during the surgery. Chemotherapy and/or radiation will likely be a part of her life in the near future.

This woman and I became a good friends, growing closer as we supported each other in past months while our mutual friend Margaret was fighting her final battle. She was a wonderful counsel and a source of comfort for me during that time and I pray that I will be able to serve her as well as she served me now that the need is so large in her life. I pray that I have the right words when necessary and that I will know when words are unnecessary. I pray for insight and wisdom and strength but mostly I am once again praying for a friend... I hate cancer!

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posted by Marsha at 2 Comments

Monday, August 13, 2007

What's Better Than Being A Cursillo Pilgrim?

Serving on staff at Cursillo!

I'm far too tired to elaborate.

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posted by Marsha at 1 Comments

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tweaking Photographs

-- 9:00 pm Friday -- Pictures moved to Flickr and should appear now without a problem, although I did have to edit the size of my template.

-- 8:10 pm Friday --
What is the deal with the missing pictures? I ran into this problem once before letting Blogger host the photos instead of storing them elsewhere. Using Flickr presents sizing problems and I don't have enough personal space on the web to host my own. I'll fix this later this evening as my time is limited right now.

I came across some tutorials for editing photos that I wanted to try out and decided to use some of the terrific shots taken by my daughter, Dee, on her first trip to Scotland 2 years ago. The first three photos are from that trip.

On the first two I used a layer adjustment method to change the photos to black and white and to enhance the brightness and contrast. I sharpened the merged files twice and resized them before saving in jpg format to publish on the blog. I thought the black borders and contrasting white text added a dramatic tone to them.


The next photo I cropped and again used the layer adjustment method this time to enhance the color. I used the screen blend mode which lightened and enhanced the colors even more. The original photo had a gray cast to it and the edits really brightened up the building, giving off a lot more detail while the sky still retains a bit of the overcast feel of the original photo. This one was also merged, sharpened twice and resized before saving to upload to the blog. I cropped out more of the sky after the final merge and I liked how that crop really created a stronger focal point for the shot, drawing your eye toward the bend in the road instead of looking at lots of extra (and unnecessary) sky. Cropping photos was part of one of the tutorials I was referencing while making the edits. Dee took some great photos and it was fun to work with them. I also had the pleasure of watching my granddaughters when she made that trip in 2005 and then again last year.

This is a photo I took of Sarah Grace when I visited Dee and the girls a few weeks ago. I love this picture of her. I followed a really simple tutorial to transform her photo into a colored pencil sketch. Very basic and very easy and a terrific subject to work with!

sarah_colored pencil2

I used similar techniques to the ones used for the Scotland pictures above on this photo of Woody K. Nibs taken in my yard. I was able to bring out the color with the layer adjustment technique and cloned out a plastic pop-up valve that distracted from the picture. I cropped this photo as well, after merging, sharpening and resizing. The original photo looks a little drab against this enhanced version. I also added a black border to this one as well.
So I've managed to waste some time the past couple of days, but I did enjoy it, as I have been in a bit of a creative slump lately. I'm struggling with ideas for posting to the blog as well so maybe I will manage to break out of my doldrums completely.

Unfortunately, I have a million things to do that I have neglected while playing! hmmmm... the word avoidance keeps popping up in my head... I wonder why?

Now playing: Spaeth - Celtic Legend Tribute to Lord Of The Rings

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posted by Marsha at 3 Comments